It’s finally here. Opening weekend of the 2018-19 Premier League season has arrived and there’s plenty to be excited about after an incredible 2018 World Cup tournament.
The EPL season begins Friday at 3 p.m. ET with Manchester United hosting Leicester City, and Week 1 is capped off by Arsenal hosting defending champions Manchester City.
Over the past two seasons, I’ve been publishing Premier League weekly previews and analyzing the betting market for every match while providing value plays along the way.
2018-19 Season Record: 0-0-0
For Week 1 of the 2018-19 Premier League season I’ve broken down every match and picked out five value plays including Manchester United-Leicester City.
(All odds via Pinnacle as of 11 a.m. ET on Friday. All betting %’s via Market Average)
Betting Odds: Leicester City at Manchester United
- Man United Moneyline: -177
- Leicester City Moneyline: +657
- Draw Moneyline: +300
- Over/Under: 2.5 (u-118)
- Kick-off: Friday 3 p.m. ET
The opening match of the season pits two managers against each other who are both on the hot seat. Manchester United’s Jose Mourinho and Leicester City’s Cladue Puel have flirted with the best odds to be first manager fired this season, a title neither wants to hold.
Since odds for Week 1 have been posted for a couple months, there’s been considerable line movement. Manchester United opened -220 at Pinnacle and -238 at CRIS, but they’re now down to -175. With public bettors all over Manchester United (77% of tickets), it’s clear that some sharper money is taking a chance on Leicester City.
Along with the betting market, historical trends indicate that road underdogs have been undervalued on opening weekend. Using our Bet Labs database since 2012, road dogs have gone 14-25 for +40.71 units won on the opening weekend. The biggest payouts were West Ham (+1255) at Arsenal in 2015, and Burnley (+1125) at Chelsea in 2017.
My colleague Michael Leboff is on board and thinks this is a prime spot for Manchester United to go down. The opening match of the season could be setting up to be a shocker, and I think throwing 0.25 units or 0.50 units on Leicester City (+725) to win straight up is worth it. As for a full-unit bet, I love the low-risk value on Leicester City +1 at +110 odds.
The Bet: Leicester City +1 (+110)